Hendersonville NC Real Estate Blog: Can We As Agents Perform Dual Agency Representation Without Hurting One Side?

Can We As Agents Perform Dual Agency Representation Without Hurting One Side?

Can we as Agents Perform Dual Agency Representation Without Hurting One Side?

As a Listing Agent I am always surprised when I get a call on a property and a potential buyer wants me to show them a home. Don't get me wrong, I want buyers to look at any listing I have. But I just feel as though I am moving into a slippery slope there. In all honesty I just don't feel as though I can fairly represent them when I am already representing the owner of the property. To me it just is not fair. My first obligation is to the seller and I must give my all to them. So how can I give a buyer the full attention and due dilegence they need?

I think that today, as informed as buyers are about everything under the sun, they are still uninformed about the importance of dual agency. When I get these calls, I try to explain the importance of avoiding the dual agency by having their own buyers agent. I explain all the reasons why, and that I will have to keep my mouth shut about a lot of things. And then let them decide whether they want me to still show them the home. I never refuse.

Now I admit most of the time they will still allow me to show them the home, and almost always I will find that this listing does not meet their needs. But at that moment I gain their trust and they allow me to become their Buyers Agent. But if it goes the other way and they become interested in persuing the home, I will always refer them to a good agent for buyers representation.

I got an email this morning from Inman News talking about this very thing and so I am guessing it has become an issue- or maybe more accurately is still an issue. I am wondering how other agents treat Dual Agency? What is your take?

Jerri McCombs, Advanced Virtual Assistant 

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Comment balloon 6 commentsJerri McCombs, Broker • September 11 2011 09:32AM


I don't have a problem with dual agency. I simply trust myself to treat both parties fairly.
Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

I have been perplexed during the past several months about how to adjust to the NEW era of real estate.  (30+ years experience) It is interesting to me how many buyers are checking everything out on the internet and accepting what they find as "the truth so help me...".  Buyers seem to be dismissing the value of a buyer's agency because they feel THEY know more than we do as agents.  Do they have the impression that they will get a better deal by going directly to the listing agent.  I'm just posing the question - do we need to redefine our role as buyer's agents?

Posted by Barbara Heise, Search for Homes for Sale in St. Louis (Keller Williams Realty STL) over 9 years ago

Hi Jerri - Dual agency is not allowed in Colorado anymore, and back when it was, I never had the opportunity to do it, which is probably good, since I've never felt comfortable with the concept - it looks like a minefield full of conflict-of-interest bombs and potentially angry clients. I don't much care for our alternative, either - transaction brokerage, where the agent represents neither party but is a "neutral facilitator". That minimizes the liability issues, but doesn't make the clients any happier. I much prefer to stick with one side of the transaction and provide great representation.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) over 9 years ago

Hi Charita, Dual Agency by nature is a sticky situation, and in a litigious society I would find it hard to feel safe in that atmosphere. Either party can come back to bite us. It just is not possible (to me) to be a faithful representative for both sides. If my responsibility is to represent the seller first, then there is no way that I can do my job as a buyers agent and be as agressive for them as I can. I would rather pass on dual and fully represent my seller.

Barbara- I agree, if they are reading so much and know so much I can't figure out how they can NOT get this concept. But in all honestly, we may not be educating the masses on this point as we should. It really needs to be talked about so much more. Perhaps they don't know the benefits and hazards because we as a group do not educate them as we should. At any rate, I will continue to pass.

Dick- I am glad that Colorado has come to their senses. That was a smart move. I wish North Carolina would do that. It would set the stage for more honesty and better representation for both the buyer and the seller. I agree with you all the way!


Posted by Jerri McCombs, Broker, Hendersonville NC Relocation (Dogwood Real Estate Services) over 9 years ago

Jerri - we do not do "dual agency" at our office. Of course that does not preclude getting both sides, if the buyer signs agreeing that he/she is not represented by the listing agent. I try to get agency out of the way up front, including the implications of not having representation. If a buyer would still be interested in my listing I would try to get the buyer to agree to a "designated agency" having another agent from our office representing them specifically and only for that transaction.

Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) over 9 years ago

Hi jerri- I like your strategy of letting the potential buyers know the downside of dual agency in advance and letting them make the choice.  I agree that it is difficult to represent both parties (especially in price negotiations) and I often wonder how other agents handle this situation.  When I get buyer calls on my listings I show the house and offer to bring in another agent to represent them if they decide to make an offer but more times than not, the house doesn't suit their needs and we enter into a buyer agency relationship.

Posted by Laurie Murray, Serving West Hartford & Surrounding Communities almost 9 years ago